Dear Annie: In the past year, I have gotten engaged, moved away, bought a new home, received my own business from my future in-laws and set a wedding date. All of these amazing things and I am miserable.
I’ve moved thousands of miles from my life — my family, my friends, everything. It seemed best at the time. I thought I’d be happy here, with the great house, perfect job and future husband. But I miss home so much my heart is breaking. Moving back would mean ending my engagement. My fiancé is needed here and I couldn’t handle living so far away from him. So, my choice is to live without the love of my life, or without my family and friends.
I’m trying my best to be close to his parents, but it isn’t the same. And making friends is proving almost impossible. Plus, I don’t think replacing my old friends would help. I visit home often, but it’s only that much harder to leave again. I’m only 21 and know I should be happy, but it’s not working. Annie, I need your help. What should I do? — Heartbroken
Dear Heartbroken: If you love your fiancé and plan to create a life with him, you should be willing to relocate. We know it’s hard to leave your family and friends, and it can take a long time to feel comfortable in a new place, but once you’re married, your husband should come first and he has legitimate reasons to live in your current home. Get involved in your neighborhood. Join a book club. Take a college class. Start a young-married-couples group at your church. Maturity sometimes means sacrifice, and if you are unable or unwilling to do this, you may not be ready for marriage.
Dear Annie: My mother married a man with more money than we have ever seen. He is very generous with gifts at Christmas and we appreciate this.
I have three sisters. We are all married, except one who is divorced, and we all have great children. My divorced sister chooses to work only part time, and my mother and stepfather take care of her and her kids. They purchased a house and car for her. They even pay her grown son’s rent and have given cars to her other kids.
Annie, the other grandchildren are wondering what they have done wrong. We told our parents their biased generosity isn’t fair to the rest of us. At the moment, we are not talking. What should we tell our teenage kids? — Left Out in Ohio
Dear Ohio: It’s not wise for parents to favor one child (or grandchild) over the others. It creates the sense that you are less loved. But it’s your parents’ money and they don’t owe any of you a car, a house or rent payments. They are overly generous with your sister because they think she needs it more. Your kids are old enough to understand that their grandparents are compensating their cousins for coming from a broken home. It’s wrongheaded, but not speaking to them won’t make things better.
Dear Annie: There is a simple solution for “Worried in Connecticut,” who is embarrassed when caught in public talking to himself. He should get a cell phone with an ear bud. It doesn’t matter if no one is on the line with him.
We’ve become so obsessed with staying in contact that people walk down the aisles of grocery stores giving a play-by-play. One time, a woman at the meat counter was discussing her hysterectomy, and then there was the guy at the freezer case talking about his son’s delinquency issues. Ever been behind a person gossiping about someone you know? That’s a real treat.
So “Worried” needn’t be. As long as he looks plugged in, he’ll be deemed normal. — Trying To Get Away From It in California
Dear Trying: A great idea for solving the problem of embarrassment, but we hope he will see his doctor just in case there are other problems as well.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger on 11.26.07